The first day of spring turkey season was a great success–considering my past spring turkey hunting career(not a turkey). And, while I did not see any turkeys I enjoyed it immensely.
At 5:00 AM I woke up and arrived at my hunting spot shortly after first light. Throughout early morning I spoke with two gobblers who sounded like they had a hen with them. A couple of times they got within 50-100 yards or so of my position, but they never came in. Then once when they were a little farther out I heard one gun shot at about the spot where I heard the last gobbles.
Figuring that was probably it for the day, I took out my apple and ate it. About 20 minutes later I head one lone gobble (which leads my to believe the other gobbler is now dead) so, I put on my gloves and pulled down my face mask and called again. After a short wait I heard another lone gobble, but this time closer. So, I waited, but he never came in or gobbled again.
Even though I did not see are get anything, I had a very interesting opening day of spring turkey season, because I actually heard something that responded to my calls.
I got a Lee Double Cavity Round .490 Ball Mold from craigs list.
Here is a sample of some of the round balls I made:
Here is what commercially made CVA swaged round balls look like for comparison:
To speed up the loading of my flintlock I made a loading block. This loading block, which I made with the intention of using for target shooting, will allow me to pre-place a patch and ball together, so I will not have to play around with individual patches and balls when I am shooting.
Ideas of making my own loading block first came, when I saw a few in some books I was reading. My first step in building one was to draw a design of the loading block on graph paper, since I had no pre-made plans to follow. Because, my gun is .50 caliber or 1/2 inch big, making the holes line up properly on the graph paper was easy for each box on the graph paper was equal to 1/4 inch. After playing around with various designs I decided on a design with 1/4 inch spacing between two side by side rows of five holes. Then on the outside of the rows I left 1/4 inch, which so far has seemed to be strong enough. To allow the block to be tied onto a string I put a 1/2 square centered on the block at one end. Finally after making the basic design marking where the holes would go was easy, because each 1/2 square of graph paper had an intersection point that marked the center of the square.
Wood to make the loading block came from an old skid that was probably made out of popular. After tracing my design from the graph paper onto the wood and marking where the holes should go; I drilled the 1/2 inch holes with a drill press. Next, I cut out the design with a band saw. Then, to smooth it out I used a combination of a hand held sander and a dremel tool fitted with a sanding drum.
At this stage a patched round ball would push into a hole, but they went in rather hard and seemed to be ripping my patch some. So, I wrapped some sand paper around a socket and sanded out the insides of the holes until a patched round ball would push in with moderate pressure and would not tear the patch. Then, I sanded the whole loading block by hand to make it nice and smooth. With the sanding all done, I then applied a couple coats of a linseed oil and black walnut finish.
With my loading block now finished the question is does it work? The answer is yes, it is much easier to load ten shots all at once now, then it is to fumble with patches and individual balls when out target shooting. Sometime, I will probably make another version of my loading block that will hold fewer round balls. This ten shot version works well for target shooting, but it might be a little bothersome to carry on a string around my neck, because of its weigh–besides in muzzle loader hunting you typically only get one shot at a time not ten.
It seems the old Indian legends of Bigfoot have finally been proved with the recent release of Sasquatch Jerky from jerky.com. Now for the low price of $499.99 a bag you can own and eat the of proof that Bigfoot exists. Even the USDA now recognizes the existence of Bigfoot, because the jerky was “inspected and approved by the USDA.”
The jerky is also said to be made from “fresh hormone-free Sasquatch meat” that is “low in calories and high in protein,” which makes it a very healthy choice for your diet! In addition at $62.50 an ounce you are sure to chew your Sasquatch Jerky very slowly, which will cause those wishing to lose a few pounds to drop pounds like lead weights!
Happy April Fools!